Japanese Internment: Evaluating Sources to Form Our Own Perspectives

I have incorporated elements of the Stanford History education Group’s curricula into  a 30 minute lesson that utilizes both declarative and procedural knowledge in examination of 3 documents with varying perspectives of the internment of people with Japanese descent during World War 2.  The underlying themes for this lesson are:

  • Wartime Policy
  • Propoganda
  • Reparations
  • Racism

The essential question for this unit is:

Was the decision to intern people of Japanese descent a calculated and necessary military decision…Or was it the result of racism and unjust speculation hyper-speculation during wartime?

First, lets take this short quiz

How did you do? In determining the answer to historical questions, it is important to be cognizant of the level of validity, bias, and accuracy that your sources provide.

For example, during this lesson we will examine three sources that provide various perspectives of the reasoning behind the U.S. Government’s choice to intern roughly 100,000 of it’s own people. Below you you can explore a timeline of major event in the history of the U.S. Government’s treatment of citizens with Japanese descent:

With this chronological context, lets examine Document A:

Document A is a propaganda video released by the U.S. Government to ease the growing tide of opposition to internship among other American citizens.

As you watch this video, please ill out this accompanying “Examination Worksheet” below:

Next, we will examine Document B: The Munson Report. 

As you examine this document, please also complete the accompanying examination table:

The last document in this lesson is Document C: Personal Justice Denied

As you examine this document, please also complete the accompanying examination table:

Now that we have examined these 3 documents., lets take a moment to Synthesize a final hypothesis that encompasses out our perspective of the historical event.

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